Raju Hirani continues with his winning formula from his earlier films: a blend of emotions and comedy with music and a bit of romance and a larger than life, selfless, golden hearted do-gooder hero. And with 3 Idiots he has come up with a mother of all feel-good film. Whatever the hero does, it is for the good of others and he becomes huge because others consider him their idol, their hero. How can then the film not touch moviegoers’ hearts while entertaining them as well as imparting some knowledge without sounding preachy?
Farhan Qureshi (Madhavan) feigns a heart attack to stop an airplane midair and return to base, Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) jumps out of bed forgetting to wear his pants let alone footwear. Why, what’s so exciting? The word is that Ranchhoddas Shamaldas Chanchad aka Rancho (Aamir Khan), missing since graduation, 10 years ago, is in town. They adulate Rancho. Hereon, the film goes in to its first flashback when all three share a hostel room at an Engineering college in Delhi. While Raju comes from a poor background and a lot of family dreams and hopes ride on his qualifying and settling for a nice job, Farhan is from a middle class family whose father has to make sacrifices to send him to this prestigious college. Rancho is supposed to be a millionaire’s heir apparently showing little interest in studying and having no respect for bookish knowledge. He wants the education system to change, encourage youth to think out of the box and not just learn by rut. However, at result time, it is Rancho who tops the class creating in the process an adversary in Chatur Ramalingam (Omi Vaidya) who always aspires to be first.
What lends fun to the film are the antics of the trio, for instance, Rancho’s anti-establishment stance always getting the better of the advocates of the system and a number of gags judiciously placed between songs and emotional moments. Also, the heroine gets 6th or 7th billing exposure wise thus not breaking the flow of the narration. Neither her scenes nor songs have been forced in. Hence, whenever she comes, she is a part of the tale.
Raju Hirani’s direction and writing complement each other very well. While the funniest sequence in the film is that of Chatur ending up reading a doctored speech in Hindi, the delivering a child sequence is farfetched and also stretched. Otherwise, the flow is smooth despite flashbacks. Santanu Moitra’s music, with an obvious country music feel, is good and subtle in the background. Songs are a good blend with Zoobi zoobi… being best picturised and Ek pal tou ab humme jeene do… while the ballad of Rancho as the signature tune is catchy, too.
Of the cast, it is the oldest of the three, Aamir Khan, who passes off as the college lad with much ease. His hands in pocket youthful gait and fresh as morning face make a perfect foil for him. With an author backed role, he walks away with all the glory. Among others, Sharman Joshi cashes in on more than few opportunities to emote. Madhavan’s shape and size are a give away and he does not quite fit a college lad’s frame; however, he is adequate and does well in the only emotional scene he gets to share with Parikshat Sahni. Boman Irani has been made into a caricature and one can not decide if he is around as a comedian or a villain. Among the rest, it is Omi Vaidya who excels along with the young actor who plays Millimetre.
During the festive Christmas season, 3 Idiots is just the film to add to the joy; having registered the best opening of any film so far, it is set to create new records in the next seven days to come.